University of Missouri – School of Journalism

Strengthening and Preserving the World's First Journalism School

Location: Columbia, MO
Age/Built: 1908
Facade Repair and Attachment, Services, Stabilization of Historic Structures, Testing and Analysis

Project Background:

  • The University of Missouri’s School of Journalism is the oldest formal journalism school in the world, founded in 1908 at the insistence of Joseph Pulitzer
  • As part of the largest grant in the university’s history, a new institution of journalistic excellence was to be created, incorporating the original journalism buildings
  • A massive multi-million dollar renovation was undertaken to achieve this vision

Challenges Presented:

  • During the course of renovation, the project team had gutted the interior of the journalism buildings
  • It was discovered that the historic masonry was severely unstable and the design team determined the buildings would fail under the additional structural loads intended
  • MSI was contracted to carefully evaluate the structure, as well as determine and implement a course of action that would allow the existing masonry walls to support the new additions
  • The appearance of the iconic structures could not be altered in the process

Services and Solutions:

  • MSI laboratory technicians began by evaluating the buildings through a battery of tests, including flatjack testing to determine the existing walls’ compressive strengths and Lugeon testing to determine whether CIF injection would be an appropriate course of action
  • The flatjack testing uncovered very low wall strengths
  • The Lugeon testing found a number of large interconnected voids and an 83% high flow rate among ports, indicating CIF injection would greatly increase the wall’s structural capacity
  • MSI laboratory techs then used this onsite testing to create a mockup wall to simulate the buildings’ construction in order to aid in CIF development
  • From this CIF development process came an injection material that would match the properties of its host, including vapor transmission and compressive strength
  • This CIF was then injected under low pressure to maximize bond and fill the voids inside the buildings’ walls, with over 15,000 sq. ft. of injection successfully completed
  • The reinforcement approach was equally complex and consisted of over 18 different types of anchorage, with extreme angles of entry that further complicated coring
  • In total MSI installed over 5,600 ft. of reinforcement, including Gruenstark (GS) diagonal stitching and stainless steel heritage fabric anchors
  • NDE confirmed that all project goals were achieved and the renovations could proceed